• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

Nigeria leads rest of Africa in foreign currency remittances

The Nigerian economy received a total of $21 billion out of $32 billion of foreign currency remittances into Africa as at 2013.

Phillips Oduoza, CEO, United Bank for Africa (UBA) plc, stated this in Lagos yesterday at the launch of the bank’s outbound money transfers system.

Oduoza said forecasts predict that the remittances would peak at $41 billion by 2016, adding that the $32 billion into sub-Saharan Africa in 2013 showed a 3.5 percent increase over the figure in 2012.

The UBA new outbound money transfer, in partnership with MoneyGram which has redefined Nigeria’s money transfer business landscape, is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) guidelines on international monetary transfer services which accommodate inbound as well as outbound money transfer services. Outbound money transfer is now raised to $5,000 from $3,000.

The newly launched outbound money transfer service allows Nigerians to send money abroad, in naira, to countries like UK, China, and USA through any UBA branch in Nigeria or Africa, while the funds are received in dollar, pound or the currency of the receiving country.

“The outbound money transfer service allows Nigerians to send money in naira to over 200 countries around the world by simply walking into any UBA branch in Nigeria or in the 18 other African countries where UBA has operations outside Nigeria or through any other MoneyGram agent bank,” Oduoza said at the product launch in Lagos yesterday.

He made a live demonstration of how the service will work by sending naira from Nigeria to Ghana, which was received in real time in Ghana cedis by the CEO of UBA Ghana.

Oduoza said the UBA and MoneyGram outbound money transfer service would boost trade and business between African countries as many Nigerians who do business across Africa no longer have to move around with cash. They can now easily transfer money to their business partners in other African countries or in China, Europe and America to pay for goods and services bought.

He described the new money transfer service which has been tagged  ‘Naija Sends’ as yet another testimony to the innovative, customer-centric disposition of both UBA and MoneyGram.

“This service opens a new vista of opportunity for Nigerians to easily trade with other Africans and also trade with other parts of the world. It also offers a great platform to send money to loved ones abroad. As Africa’s global bank, we are proud to partner with MoneyGram to make this service available. It opens a whole new world of opportunities for our customers,” he said.

Kemi Okusanya, regional manager, Anglophone West Africa, MoneyGram, said the launch of ‘Naija Sends’ had further deepened the brand’s reach and service in Nigeria.

“Over the last two decades MoneyGram has facilitated over 15 million transactions in Nigeria, enabling safe, convenient and reliable transfer of funds from the Nigeria Diaspora to their loved ones. As Africa’s largest economy, with over 10 million migrants, we are glad we are now able to also offer Nigerians the opportunity to send money abroad to their loved ones and for business transactions,” Okusanya said.

“MoneyGram with over 300,000 locations in over 200 countries, partnering with UBA with over 700 business offices in 19 African countries and offices in New York, London and Paris, offers the best choice for Nigerian’s sending money abroad to loved ones,” she stated.

MoneyGram started operation in Nigeria 16 years ago.

Daniel Obi